"Laughter, Song and Dance Connection" by Joseph Scheyer

2 Samuel 6:14  And David danced before the Lord with all his might.
I can still recall the feeling of standing at the side of the gym at the Jr. High School dance … fifty years ago... afraid to approach any of the girls.  I wasn’t much of a dancer but something more held me back from getting out on that floor and having fun. I was not alone, the gym wall was lined with boys just like me… afraid of looking awkward and worried about what others would think … or worse yet, afraid that someone might reject or even laugh at us. I was not alone but it felt awfully alone. Where did that fear come from? Why did/do I find it so difficult to take a risk?  Why was/is it so important what other people think?  I really wanted to fit in but found that when I made myself vulnerable, I ran the risk being ridiculed and the mere thought of that shame was unbearable. So, I found it easier to escape into a shell of appearing cool and in control holding up the gym wall. Certainly, Jr. High is a tough time for everyone. I’ve made progress in living authentically and taking risks since those difficult years but still find this fear of vulnerability and worry about what others might think creeps into my daily life far too often.
What I didn’t realize then is that fitting in is not the same as “belonging.” We all have a need to belong and that’s the beauty of God’s Kingdom: God doesn’t care if we appear cool and in control.  God Loves our goofy, awkward, imperfect and authentic selves just the way we are. There is something beautiful about finding the courage to be true to your heart instead of worrying about what others might think.
Psalm 100:1-2   Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
God gave us the gift of music for singing and dancing to express emotions both joyous and sorrowful. The gift of healthy laughter is laughing with each other, not at each other and not that nervous laugh that we sometimes hide behind.  Writer Ann Lamott describes this laughter as a “bubbly, effervescent form of holiness”. Life without these gifts seems unimaginable because they enable our spirits not only to connect with Gods presence but to share the context of our inner spirit with one another. Laughing, singing and dancing are good for the soul. I believe it is vital for our “Soul Care” to nurture these modes of spiritual connection even if you do most of your singing in the car and dancing in the kitchen like me.
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
― Mark Twain
God’s plan for each of us is that we engage in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It’s about finding the courage, compassion and connection to wake up each day and understand that no matter what happens, I am enough… no matter what… I am worthy of love and belonging this day. Knowing that, I say that we may as well take some time each day to enjoy the connection to those precious gifts of laughter, song and dance